Monday, April 16, 2012

What might have been - the MOCs

In my previous post I gave my suggestions for an official line. John-Lennon did me one better and actually built a suggested line of sets.

I would have conceived of this as a larger, more complete set, but his Bag End would work very well in the style of a small set. This includes all of the essentials to suggest Bag End. You get the iconic round green door with doorknob in the center, a fence for outside, and some interior furnishings - a desk for Bilbo and Frodo to chronicle their adventures, a coat rack that would be particularly useful for the scene at the start of the Hobbit, and a fireplace to toss the Ring in. The modular design lets you configure this in various ways.

His Wizard Duel depicts a scene right out of the movie. I'll leave aside my anti-Peter-Jacksonism to say that this would again work quite well as a small set. You get conflict. You get two key characters (and where is Saruman in the official line of sets?). You get just enough construction to suggest the interior of Orthanc. I'm going to have to re-watch the movies - did Gandalf actually see the Palantir when he went to Orthanc? That seems very wrong, but is Peter Jackson's mistake, not John-Lennon's.

His Black Rider is another small set that works very well. You can reproduce that iconic scene where the hobbits are cowering under some tree roots while the Rider searches for them. I love the little mushrooms, btw.

His Weathertop Ambush set is similar to the official version - key figures, camp, ruins. This would be at a lower price point than the official set just because it has fewer bricks, and no rearing horse. I love, btw, that he included an 'action' element. When you stand a fig in that one archway, he is knocked aside when you flip the little catapult. I could totally see LEGO doing that.

I had suggested that LEGO break up Moria into three separate sets - one for the Doors of Durin, one for the Chamber of Mazarbul, and one for the Balrog confrontation. Here John-Lennon combines elements of each of those into one large set. He also includes the long collapsing staircase from the movie (another fist shaken in Peter Jackson's general direction). Again, I think this would be an awesome set. My only complaint is that I would have included the Watcher in the Water.

I particularly like his Balrog:

As I said before, I probably would not have done the Ambush at Amon Hen, but John-Lennon's set is great. Again, he works very well with LEGO's set designs, and includes an action element in that a figure standing on that rectangular structure will go flying when you flick a little lever, so they're either leaping aside or being struck down.

In summary, here John-Lennon does a great job in making a series of sets that fit well with what LEGO might actually make. He spreads his figs out amongst the sets, so a collector would have to buy them all. He even includes Saruman, sadly missing from the official sets released so far. I think his Balrog, though very cool, would be made larger by LEGO, and sadly would probably be largely based on big molded parts (see the cave troll, for instance). He hits a variety of price points, with smaller and larger sets. He includes conflict and action features in most sets (not much action in Bag End). In short, LEGO, hire this guy!

1 comment:

  1. they are great looking sets. looks like alot of work went into them, im goin to try to make ones like these right now